Dear P.A.,Posted:Jan 16th, 2011 4:06 am
Just wondering if you got a chance to watch Aaron Rodgers on Saturday night. You know, the guy you rate as the ninth best QB in the league. The guy you called a fantasy football stud only, a big box score guy who can't deliver when the lights are brightest.
So, 31-36 for 366 yards, three TDs and a rushing TD. A passer rating of 136.8. Three playoff games, 10 touchdown passes--most in NFL history. Enough. Move on, find someone else to rip.
Rodgers delivered a playoff performance for the ages in Atlanta, leading the Packers into the NFC title game brimming with confidence and swagger. He has officially arrived as an elite quarterback. A performance like this one gives you your elite wings. The drive that answered the Weems kickoff return showed that he would not be denied on this night. And after an early miscue by Greg Jennings, his receivers came through all night long, particularly Jordy Nelson and James Jones.
Putting 48 points on the board at the Georgia Dome is beyond anyone's dream, but it showed the effect a solid running game can have on an offense. It helped the defense because it took away Michael Turner out of the equation and the Falcons were not a big play team all year long.
The frustrating close losses are a thing of the past. The Pack is peaking and will not be afraid to play at Soldier or Qwest Field next week. But from my standpoint, it needs to be in Chicago next Sunday afternoon. A Packers-Bears NFC title game would be as big as it can possibly get. Nice to be able to watch the game and be in a no lose situation. Whatever happens, the Pack is playing for a trip to the Super Bowl.
Old #4 never had a playoff performance like this. On this night in Atlanta, Aaron Rodgers arrived. And it feels like he and the Packers are just getting started. I know it hurts, Paul. But Aaron Rodgers is the complete package, and he may have more upside than any QB in the league right now.